NBA legend Scottie Pippen talked to the press during the NBA All-Star Weekend, which happened over Valentine's Day, about his defense strategy and his thoughts on several past and present NBA players.
According to Newsday, the former Chicago Bulls player competed in the Degree Shooting Stars Challenge at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday. In a video made for the Gospel Herald, Darrel Johnson, alongside a few reporters, managed to ask few questions to Pippen, who first talked about the 1994 NBA All-Star Game.
"I think it was the shoes," Pippen said in describing his performance during that game.
A reporter then asked him about his "mind frame" during the 1994 game. He reminded Pippen that he was also awarded MVP status at that time.
"It was the same. I had been to a few All-Star games, so I was pretty comfortable in what I needed to do," Pippen said. "It was just one of those days where the ball was going for me, and I shot it well."
The reporter then asked a question on how much he changed when he competed against the Detroit Pistons in 1990 and the Los Angeles Lakers a year later.
"I just grew and developed another year of experience, learning from it," Pippen said. "I just continued to get better physically and was able to finally meet the challenge."
Johnson then had the chance to ask Pippen what it was like to team up with Elena Delle Donne during the Degree Shooting Stars Challenge event.
"It was great. It was a lot of fun," Pippen said. "It's a great weekend for our fans, and to have an opportunity to come and play with fellow players who have the same passion that you have about the game."
Pippen added that he "looked forward to enjoy spending time here" at the NBA All-Star Game.
Another reporter asked what the NBA legend thought about the rosters for both the East and West teams.
"Players are always going to get better and continue to arouse you in some way," Pippen said. "They're going to continue to develop. It's not surprising. These are things that have happened year in and year out in the game."
A different reporter asked Pippen what he thought about Marc Gasol and the Memphis Grizzlies.
"Marc has been playing great," Pippen said. "It's been a great season. Memphis is one of those teams where they will always be a competitor come playoff time. I think with the addition of [JaMychal] Green, it has definitely given them an upper leg, an opportunity to contend for the title."
Another reporter told Pippen that Pau Gasol will be playing against his brother Marc at this year's All-Star game, both as starters. He asked the NBA legend what he thought about that development.
"It's great. It just shows how far our game has grown and how far it's came," Pippen said. "To have two brothers with same desire and love for the same sports and now have an opportunity to compete against each other in the All-Star game is great. It's a tribute to how great the game of basketball is."
The reporter then asked Pippen if the Gasol brothers had been recognized by the entire NBA league for their contributions to the game of basketball.
"Yeah, they do," Pippen quipped. "They came in and earned their right and respect to be where they are today. We look at them as two of the top centers in our game."
The reporter then turned the focus on the status of Pau in his line of questioning.
"Pau has always been a very good basketball player, even back in his days in Memphis," Pippen said. "[He's a] very high-skilled level player. The game will continue to get easier for him because of his experience and knowledge."
A different reporter asked Pippen on his thoughts about Marcin Gortat, who currently plays for the Washington Wizards. The reporter quipped that Gortat almost became an All-Star this year.
"He's had a great couple of years," Pippen said. "He didn't make the All-Star team, but he got a nice contract last year, so I'm sure he's not complaining about not being here this weekend."
Pippen added that although a lot of players "deserved to be here this weekend," he noted that "it's just part of the game."
Johnson reported that Pippen was a legendary defender back in the day. He asked the former Bull how he would compete against today's basketball forwards such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
"Same way I've defended them in the past, [which is to] stay in front of them," Pippen said with a smile on his face.
Although the audio was quite faint, a reporter asked Pippen about his thoughts on Brazilian basketball player Oscar Schmidt, who was drafted by the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets) back in 1984 but had to turn it down due to NBA regulations back in those days.
"Oscar was a great player. I caught him near the end of his career," Pippen said. "I know he was a great scorer and one of the greatest Brazilian basketball players of all time."
Pippen added that Schmidt did not engage in "trash talking" when they competed back in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Finally, a reporter asked Pippen on his thoughts about the legacy regarding Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, who has been nicknamed "The Big Fundamental" by many basketball fans.
"He's been a great player and well-deserving at 15 [years]," Pippen said about Duncan. "The guy has been incredible. He's been solid. He's been a winner."
Pippen concluded that Duncan was "the epitome of what you want in a basketball player," noting that he had "a high-skill level" to contribute to the game.